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The Problematic Progressive Field Proposal

A satiric video regarding the Progressive Field renovation.

Written by: Cameron Mays

Sports exist on a wide spectrum of dull to slightly less dull. My general ratio is dependent on how many punches are thrown in the average time frame of the activity, thus, boxing is least dull, golf is the most dull, and water polo is somewhere in the middle. Needless to say, I am not generally interested in athletic pursuits as either a voyeur or participant. I am interested in athletic pursuits should a hot-button issue be intrinsically attached to said pursuit. This brings us to Progressive Field. Half a billion dollars? Public money? Architectural mockups? Like Winslow Homer gazing at coastal Maine, I was beguiled by the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

The smokers support the stadium but the stadium does not support the smokers.

The current plan is to spend $435 million to renovate Progressive Field. Of that, $202.5 million is coming from public sources by way of the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio. This is no doubt a tough sell to a region that also happens to be one of the most economically depressed large cities in the country. The truth is, sports complexes can be major economic drivers when done right!

The key words here are “when done right”. Unfortunately, there is nothing done right about the renovation. Sure, some flashy new signage and improved seating might make going to games a little more enjoyable. Where’s the long term economic impact? There is no justification for $202.5 million public dollars going to a new sports bar in the park. My cousin could open a sports bar for just $1K and a dream!

I’m no expert at designing stadiums or whatever, but I do think I have some ideas that could really turn around the park. Our baseball team has had a pretty big problem for a while. It’s a problem that has divided fans, hurt feelings and even attracted media attention. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but I have a plan that will not only resolve this long standing issue, but also turn Cleveland into an economic powerhouse. What’s this plan? You gotta check out the video I made!


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